The Power of Swag

As a nurse, Leisis Stevenson saw the incredible sacrifices women made to care for others, whether they were nurses, caregivers, relatives, or friends of the patients. She saw a determined power in them to do whatever needed to be done. However, she also saw how women can easily become trapped in this “must-do” mentality, which often leads to them neglecting themselves.

Leisis noticed that many women follow paths based on what they should do, not what they want to do or even feel called to do. In the rare cases when she met a woman who went against this status quo, she realized they all had something in common: angels and allies.

Leisis explains that what she refers to as angels and allies are not spiritual creatures. Rather, they can be people or organizations that made an impact in these women’s lives, supporting them and lifting them up when they needed it most. Most importantly, they showed these women that they could be more than their upbringing or society told them they should be.

This insight inspired Leisis to make a difference of her own. She wanted to intercede in young girls’ lives to help them never look back with regret. To achieve this mission, Leisis founded Angels & Allies in 2018 and immediately set to work providing workshops for women and school talks for teen girls, encouraging a life of self-confidence, self-acceptance, and self-governance.

To financially support her mission, Leisis started making, collecting, and selling handmade jewelry and women-created goods to help fund the programs. This idea of supporting women through women-created goods caught on more than expected, and Leisis recognized an opportunity to combine her personal passion for fashion with her passion for supporting women.

In 2021, Leisis launched HER SWAG SHOP by Angels & Allies in Key Largo. “HER” stands for Hermanas Empowerment Resolve, which represents the sisterhood Leisis promotes. The shop’s product line is thoughtfully curated with clothing, swimwear, and accessories from women designers, female-owned businesses, and companies or organizations that provide wellness or education for women and children.

“HER SWAG SHOP is founded on female empowerment,” Leisis says. “All of the products we sell either come from women or help women, and a  portion of our profits goes toward supporting women and girls in different stages of their lives.”

HER SWAG SHOP enables Leisis to host a quarterly workshop at a Miami-Dade high school and regularly support a non-profit called Women for Success. Leisis is actually one of the Founding Mothers of this organization, which helps women start their businesses by providing grants, business showers, mastermind groups, and other amazing resources.

Just this past year, Leisis opened the doors to HER SWAG SHOP storefront in Key Largo. She and her family had made the Keys their permanent home right at the beginning of the pandemic. She and her husband took the opportunity to make the long-desired move to the Keys, figuring there was no better place to be quarantined with their three kids.

The family immediately felt at home, knowing this is where they belong. Leisis’ mission continued to grow, and she jumped at the opportunity to open HER SWAG SHOP when a cute Boho space became available next to Captain’s Imports.

Leisis thanks the Keys community for their support and is also ever grateful for her own angel and ally, her mother Zenayda. Zenayda helps run the shop and, to Leisis, serves as the perfect model of a woman dedicating her life to empowering other women—a life model Leisis is working hard to turn into a legacy.

To shop and support women, visit HER SWAG SHOP at 99228 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, and follow @herswag.shop on Instagram.

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